Sunday magazines in newspapers are making news. According to reports, most of them are not doing well, filching news items from the news and making them to appear like fresh news before us. V Gangadhar inspects.
“Sorry, Sir” the immaculately uniformed ADC of the state governor welcomed me with a cheerful smile and indicated a familiar chair. “Something, soft Sir?” he inquired. I nodded and looked around. Scattered around me were different types of chairs on which Mumbai’s elite media representatives from the weighty ‘Times’ to humble reporters more keen on the lavish tea and snacks from the governor’s kitchen. Many of them looked upset and impatiently glanced at their watches. Finally one of them approached the ADC and asked peevishly, “Will the governor condescend to appear before the press which is waiting for the last one hour or so.
The ADC made some inquiries and returned looking uncomfortable. “Sorry, sir, the governor cannot be disturbed now. He is on the hot line to Delhi, I mean Rashtrapati Bhavan now. The times are different, the hotlines are always busy and many people are always kept waiting.”
“The media will not like to be kept waiting,” I reminded the ADC. You know that government’s priorities are changing. Chief Ministers come and go, can be replaced but a governor occupies a stronger slot. These days it is the governor who calls the shots. Don’t remember the recent happenings at Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh where the governors emerged as more powerful personages. Even the media is rebuilding its bridges with Raj Bhavans which were rusting.
The ADC smirked and made it clear where his interests lay. He cleared his throat. “Take J&K, the North Eastern states, the smaller states…where power keeps on fluctuating. The breeze from Delhi always favours, the governor and his hordes. You must have followed the long battles between Kejriwala and the Lt Governor. Till recently, the L/G was hardly in the picture but of late the Centre always favours Raj Bhavan. The CM no doubt fights hard but seldom wins because the police and administration are in the hands of the L/G We have to fight his boys on every field of turf. The governors are aware which sides of there are buttered and play their cards as per the occasion. Look, in this case, I am waiting to make a long-distance call and my number does not move forward from this position.I want to help you but often quite helpless.”
Looking at the lengthening queues, the politician sighed. “Look, the line is getting longer. The VIP quotas seem to prefer the Raj Bhavan babus.
“I can’t wait like this,” he muttered.” My work in Delhi will be stalled. Well, I have to ring up my friend in another 10 minutes, I have my friend’s office at Delhi and get him contact my original friend, Political friendships, power…ha. Big deal!
(V Gangadhar writes satire, a special form of humour. Incidents and anecdotes in his column are purely imaginary)